Opportunistic, fresh out of college, young Americans moved to big cities for decades until the COVID-19 pandemic and the BLM/Antifa riots and looting hit in 2020. For a new generation whose college educations couldn’t be put to use in their suburban or rural home towns, city living was the best path to success. Now, with the rise of remote working, governors gone wild, and America’s big blue cities in chaos, young people are finding their way back home in what one professor calls a rethinking of the “balance of our lives.”
Here’s the story of one couple who came back to Rhode Island, reported by Nancy Keates in The Wall Street Journal:
Neal Roese, professor of marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, says the shift stems from changed expectations. Instead of young adults emphasizing independence, jobs and mobility, they experience a renewed need to feel grounded. “Spending less time in cars and on planes and with distant acquaintances makes us rethink the balance of our lives,” he says.
Shira Olson and Scott MacPhee, both 29, thought they’d spend just a few weeks at Ms. Olson’s parents’ house in Cranston, R.I., when they left their New York City apartment in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
They ended up staying in Ms. Olson’s old bedroom for a few months, both keeping up with jobs that had gone virtual. They’d planned on a big wedding in December, but instead pushed it up to July. Then they returned to New York.
“I was in tears, longing for home and missing my parents. All I wanted was to be near my parents,” Ms. Olson says. The couple lasted a couple of months, then broke their New York lease and moved back to Rhode Island, where they plan to stay in their own apartment. If Mr. MacPhee’s job in educational support switches to in-person again, he will look for a new one nearby. “We had that aha moment where being near family is so special. It’s a gift,” Ms. Olson says.
In Rhode Island, you’ll find a company that embraced the suburbs long ago, Fidelity. The company maintains a sprawling campus in Smithfield, RI, and will soon be hiring many young Rhode Islanders to fill out an expansion. Rachel Nunes reports for Patch:
Fidelity currently employs 3,200 people in Rhode Island, and the new positions will add 500 over the coming fiscal quarters.
“Fidelity Investments is excited to grow our footprint and expand our existing regional site in Rhode Island,” said Mark Barlow, the company’s senior vice president of personal investing. “We’re increasing the number of client-facing associates to support not only unprecedented customer growth and engagement, but also our associates who work hard every day to help our clients. Expanding in Rhode Island gives us access to a talented and educated workforce in the Ocean State to fill these positions that are new to this market for us.”
Applicants to the new jobs will not need to be licensed financial professional, Fidelity said. Instead, the company is looking for candidates with “strong customer-service skills, including those working in industries like hospitality and retail that may have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”
That’s just a small part of why Fidelity is number one.
Action Line: If you haven’t already escaped the city, consider a trip to the country today to scope out your future.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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